No Surprise Here: Protected Bike Lanes Are Best

It’s not like we didn’t already know this. Protected bike lanes are the BEST way to provide safe access on streets for people on bikes. What we didn’t know is that drivers pass CLOSER to people in painted bike lanes.  We’re not fans of sharrows, and we don’t advocate no markings on streets – although by law, bike riders are allowed to take the lane, even if there is a bike lane.  In many situations it’s safer to ride in the lane with traffic, such as when there’s debris in the bike lane, or if the rider is in danger of being hit by a car door opening. So what’s the solution? We need protected bike lanes everywhere that infrastructure can be built so that bike riders are not marginalized and endangered. potentially inured and killed.

Study: Driver Behavior Shows Greater Need for Protected Bike Lanes

By Angie Schmitt

A stripe of paint on the street isn’t enough to keep bicyclists safe from drivers, a new study confirms.

The study, published this month in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention, analyzed the way drivers interact with cyclists on various types of streets. It found that drivers pass cyclists on average about 1.25 feet closer on streets with a painted bike lane and car parking than on streets with no bike infrastructure.

“When the cyclist and driver share a lane, the driver is required to perform an overtaking maneuver,” Dr. Ben Beck, Monash University’s Deputy Head of Prehospital, Emergency and Trauma Research and the lead researcher on the study, said in a statement. “This is in contrast to roads with a marked bicycle lane, where the driver is not required to overtake. This suggests that there less of a conscious requirement for drivers to provide additional passing distance.”

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